PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- A floundering Fordham program was no match for a Saint Joseph's squad off to the best start in school history.
Jameer Nelson scored 13 points and Delonte West added 12 and 10 rebounds as the sixth-ranked Hawks never trailed in a 79-35 rout of their Atlantic 10 Conference rivals.
St. Joseph's (14-0, 4-0 A-10 East) matched the second-best start ever by a conference team, tying the start of the 1987-88 Temple squad. In 1995-96, Massachusetts began the season with 26 victories before a loss to George Washington.
Nelson and Pat Carroll each drilled 3-pointers on the first two possessions as St. Joseph's established early control. The Hawks closed the half on a 17-2 run for a commanding 48-12 cushion at the break.
""When we come with that much energy, it's really kind of hard to deal with," Hawks coach Phil Martelli said. "I feel for them (Fordham)."
Fordham (4-10, 1-2) lost its fifth straight road game and had a modest two-game winning streak snapped. The Rams, perennial losers in the Atlantic 10, shot a paltry 20 percent (5-of-25) in the first 20 minutes.
"We're not at this level of course, but we didn't compete," Fordham coach Dereck Whittenburg said. "And I think we were intimidated at the beginning."
The Hawks have enjoyed the Rams' status as punching bags, improving to 13-2 against them since Fordham joined the Atlantic 10 in 1991. St. Joseph's has won the last eight matchups.
Nelson moved into second-place on the Hawks' all-time scoring list with 1,737 points, two more that Craig Amos. Bernard Blunt is St. Joseph's all-time leader with 1,985 points.
"It shouldn't matter too much right now," Nelson said. "Those types of things hit you later on when you're older. What matters to me is that right now I'm on one of the teams that had the best start ever at St. Joe's and we're still getting these wins, still focused. That's the number one thing for us. Staying focused no matter what."
Fordham had 11 turnovers in the first 10 minutes, including a pair of shot-clock violations. The Rams also missed seven of their first 10 shots.
No starter logged more than 23 minutes for St. Joseph's. Carroll had three of the team's 14 steals.
"I give Phil a lot of credit," Whittenburg said. "They could've beat us by 70 or 80. He showed a lot of class."